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I had a bronchoscopy last Wednesday. I have an appointment this Monday in Seattle to discuss the results. I expect it to be inconclusive because the doc told my wife he could not get the scope all the way down to where the apparent tumor growth is. He did irrigate the area with a saline solution in hopes of sucking up some cells for the lab to look at. I don't think he collected any tissue if he could not get the scope down there. He told my wife that they would probably have to rethink the next step.

The docs at Swedish think that it is very unlikely that the uptake on the scan would be from dying tumor inflammation 6 months after the radiation, but they also think that it is very unlikely that I would have the tumor more than triple in size in the last 3 months right after some hard core treatment, and when the tumor had been at 1 cm more or less the previous 12 months. They refer to it as a "head scratcher". They don't want to recommend more treatment unless they have physical evidence that the tumor is actually growing and they don't want to pat me on the back and tell me not to worry either.

I suppose a needle biopsy could be the next step, but there is a risk now because I have only one lung and it could collapse. The next step could be to wait for a month and do another PET/CT scan to see if the uptake glow has shrunk or is getting bigger. It has been almost a month now since my last scan. I am not too freaked out about waiting another month to see because I think the tumor is dying. I really don't like the idea of doing more treatment and not knowing for sure if I really need it. If I had not had the recent treatment, the uptake would almost certainly be from cancer and I would have started treatment immediately. The tumor is too deep within my lung to do a wedge resection biopsy.

Another possibility is that the glow could be caused by radiation recall. The oncologists don't know if alimta does this or not, because it is a new drug.

I am in a bit of a limbo.

Don M

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That is LIMBO! I am glad they are considering all options and proceeding with caution, though.

I will be curious to know what they decide to do...maybe there was a chance the doc got something from the bronchoscopy and you will have some answers soon...I sure hope so.

Keep us posted Don. You are always in my thoughts.

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Your attitude toward all that is thrown your way never ceases to amaze me, Don. I will remain hopeful that this will be resolved with the plan put in place. You SO deserve a break from this dreaded disease. Now is the time. May the head-scratcher turn into one of those 'aha' moments for you.

Kasey

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Hi Don, I am sorry the waiting is always so hard. You haven't heard back on the broncho, that could be a good sign.

To me, it doesn't make sense that the tumor would still be alive after that kind of intensive treatment. Only something from Star Trek could survive that kind of blast. :) But like my surgeon told me, this stuff is "voodoo science".

It makes more sense that the increase in size is from adding additional 1 cm margin to the radiation field the whole way around tumor. I know surgically they always want to take at least a 1 cm clean margin out along with the tumor. And 1+1+1=3cm.

So I think your docs have a good plan to wait awhile and PET again to see if SUV goes down. If they start treating now, it could only create more scarring and confound your future scans. Because then you never really know what's going on.

I'm keeping you in my prayers Don.

Barb

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Don,

When I grow up, I want to be like you! Life has thrown so much at you and yet you continue to perservere AND with such a super attitude. I am praying that your tumor is dying and the next round of scans will show just that. Hang in there and stay strong! You are an inspiration to all of us here on the board.

God Bless,

Sharon

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Don,

Xsite Lung Tracking System is the new software for Cyberknife for LC...Accuray in Sunnyvale, CA.. Found the information on Google, it is 3D and 4D. Can be used without the fidicials. Didn't say when they were going to start using the system, at least you have the name of the software. Maybe you can research and/or ask the doctors...

Prayers,

Karen

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Head scratcher is a down to earth way of saying what my uppitty doctors call being "perplexed". In any event, sounds better than "I don't know..."

Don, you will get through this one too. I wish I had the words to make you feel all better, but they are not coming to me. I have something to make you laugh, but I don't think that's what you need right now.

Don't have any advice either, dangit.

Think of you often, Don. Just can't believe that this continues on for you one hurdle after another. Hope they can get a nip of the creature and find out what in the world they (you) are up against this time.

In the meantime, You Know WE are all pulling very hard for you.

Cindi o'h

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